Tuesday, 06 October 2015 02:17

50M vehicles with in-vehicle wireless charging by 2020


In-car wireless charging will change the way we interact with our cars, growing from 4 million cars today to 50 million by 2020.

A new report from global analysts Juniper Research says in-vehicle wireless charging is going to change our in-car lives, enabling ‘a range of new in-vehicle services’ including on-board audio streaming, automatic cockpit drill customisation and context-specific notification filtering.

The data is for sale to relevant parties in Juniper’s ‘Wireless Charging: Opportunities, Applications & Standard 2015-2020’.

The report also notes that in-vehicle charging also ‘allows automakers to provide software-based services merely through streaming notifications from phone to dashboard, rather than needing to keep on-board firmware and hardware updated.’

Compatibility is, however, an issue, as there is no established standard for wireless charging. This has led to manufacturers being ‘hesitant to adopt the technology for fear of buying into a system that will soon be obsolete.’

That doesn’t mean all manufacturers have stood still - there are 4 million cars today with in-vehicle wireless charging after all, but what some have done is to hedge their bets by catering for the two main specifications: Qi and A4MP/PMA.

Juniper says ‘these de-facto solutions are helping to overcome compatibility problems, but as they require more complex components than those geared to a single specification it will keep prices relatively high.’

The move follows various smartphone brands which have already incorporated wireless charging capabilities into their phones, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S6 series, but even so, Juniper says most consumers ‘are still unaware of the feature.’

However this will change over the next few years following Samsung’s example with the S6, and as ‘more brands begin to promote the concept’.

Juniper’s media release doesn’t mention Apple (although its research presumably does), but when Apple decides on a wireless charging standard it might help accelerate overall adoption, and in any case, until then, Juniper does says that ‘most phones will continue to be shipped with a wired charger as standard.’

Juniper’s research author, James Moar, said: “For wireless charging to truly succeed, carriers and phone retailers need to provide consumers with an option for wireless chargers supplied with new devices.

“The technology will not take off if it remains a $30+ additional purchase. This is why the automotive market is so important; if the technology is provided as standard in cars, consumers can appreciate the benefits without feeling like it’s a risky or unnecessary additional purchase.”

Other key findings of Juniper’s report include:

  • Over a third of all smartphones shipping in 2020 will have wireless charging capability built in, with more enabled by accessories.
  • As well as being present in smartphones, laptop makers will be looking to harness the technology, with nearly 20% of in-use laptops being capable of charging wirelessly by 2020.

As per usual, Juniper has a free whitepaper on the topic with a bit more info to tempt potential buyers into buying Juniper’s report.

The whitepaper in question is entitled: ‘Wireless Charging – A Surge of Interest’ and, after free registration, can be downloaded here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.





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